Wednesday, June 30, 2010

William Way LGBT Community Center

Let me just state at the onset of this post that I am a brave, brave girl. On Tuesday night, Mr. C and I went to the William Way Community Center for the LGBT community in Philadelphia.

As a heterosexual couple.

For our date night.

For the life of me I can't imagine what the people there must have thought when they saw us. Or what possessed me to actually want to take this step. I am sure that I was puzzling the librarian in the center when I checked out Dyke Life and From Wedded Wife to Lesbian Life alongside When Husbands Come out of the Closet.

Yup, we're a conundrum.

The center seems like a nice place, with a lot of great activities going on for the community. They offer Peer Counseling, a Buddhist meditation club, Maj-Jongg, and family activities. It seems like a safe place to learn some more about the local LGBT community (as my stomach is in knots at the prospect of having to introduce myself to someone else and explain IN REAL LIFE what my situation is).

I can do hard things.

Really, I can.


Reina said...

YEAY!!! I have yet to go to a LBGT center or gathering of any kind. This might sound funny but I am proud of you!

Quiet Song said...

I would really like to know how often they experience an opposite sex husband and wife couple. Or if in the minds of some who run this whether or not the fact that you are married to the opposite sex makes you not "gay" enough.

Anonymous said...

Good for you! That sounds like a great adventure and date. What's this book "Dyke Life?"

Madame Curie said...

Reina - Thanks! It was hard, but easier than I thought it would be once we got there.

Quiet Song - Yeah, I have no idea but I am glad that I can't read minds. I think in this instance, I prefer not knowing.

EL - From the cover of Dyke Life:

From growing up to growing old, a celebration of the lesbian experience.

Amazon reviewers give it 5 stars, and their product description reads:

Written by lesbians of different ages, races and religions -- and compiled by one of the gay movement's best-known writers and activists --these original essays give vibrant voice to the diversity of the lesbian experience. Celebrating the many ways in which the lesbian experience is unique from all others, many of these pieces focus on specific lesbian concerns such as sexual practices, raising children and higher incidence of certain illnesses.

Beyond pointing out these differences, the essays also provide a comprehensive view of the many phases of lesbian life by covering diverse topics like body piercing, coming out and work. Short narratives --"To Mother or Not to Mother," "Confessions of a Lesbian Vampire," "About Being an Old Lesbian in Love," and more -- complement and enrich the main essays, adding a unique personal tone to the collection. A mix of the serious and the irreverent, Dyke Life is an important contribution to gay and lesbian literature.

Next steps: Meeting with MoHoHawaii next week in NYC (not Hawaii, sadly), attending the Philadelphia QFest (the LGBT film festival), and going to Giovanni's Room (an famous LGBT boutique bookstore in Philadelphia)!

Mister Curie said...

@Quiet Song - Well, the librarian at the center knew we were married and didn't say anything derogatory and allowed us to check out books without any questions. I suspect it is more common than we might expect. In fact, in the opening pages of one of the books we got from the center, it estimated that somewhere between 20%-50% of all homosexual men are married heterosexually for some portion of their lives.

Mister Curie said...

@Quiet Song - additionally the local chapter of GAMMA (Gay and Married Men Association) meets a couple of times a month at the Center.

TGD said...

I wouldn't worry about being judged. I discovered something after leaving the Mormon culture of Utah. People are a lot less judgmental than I've judged them to be.

Madame Curie said...

Touche, TGD :)

Actually, I have long more or less come to the conclusion that people don't really think much about me in general. I am not all that interesting, really. I feel much more sane when I just tell myself that.